FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Red Deer freight train is rolling right along at the world senior men’s curling championship.
Rob Armitage and his Red Deer rink ran their record to 3-0 Sunday with a 7-3 win over England’s Michael Sutherland, who fell to 1-2. The Armitage foursome, consisting also of third Keith Glover, second Randy Ponich and lead Wilf Edgar, scored three in each of the second and sixth ends on open draws by the skip.
“So far, so good,” Glover told Al Cameron, the Canadian Curling Association director of communication and media relations. “We just hope to to get onto the ice, keep making some shots and get rolling through the rest of the week.”
The Canadian men are back in action tonight against Australia’s Hugh Millikin, who won the 1986 Canadian mixed championship in Kamloops, B.C., representing Ontario. Canada, the Aussies and Sweden’s Karl Nordlund are all unbeaten in their round-robin pool with 3-0 records.
“I’m sure we’re going to have some tight games, no doubt,” said Glover. “It’s pretty easy to curl when you’re six or seven up. But Rob is curling well — everyone is curling well right now. We just have to keep it going.”
The Armitage quartet, representing Canada after winning the 2012 national championship, opened the worlds with a pair of convincing victories Saturday — 10-0 over Germany’s Klaus Unterstab in the first draw and 7-2 over Kari Keranen of Finland. The Canadians broke the second game open when Armitage, who was scored at a scorching 98 per cent, drew the four-foot to score three in the sixth end.
“We’re 2-0 and that’s what’s expected,” said Armitage. “We’ve got the high seed so we’ve played a couple of the teams that aren’t ranked at the top even though they were both decent teams. It’s a good start and now we’re down to where we’re feeling comfortable with the ice and I think we’ll play well from here on in.”
Armitage and his supporting cast curled 91 per cent as a team in the opening game and 88 per cent against Finland.
Meanwhile, Cathy King’s St. Albert foursome — the 2012 Canadian champs — improved to 2-0 in the senior women’s category Sunday with a 21-1 victory over an inexperienced Russian team skipped by Liudmila Murova (0-2).
“It was a little bizarre; just something we’re not used to in Canada, right?” said King, whose team is tied for first place in its round-robin pool with Austria’s Veronika Huber. “Unfortunately they don’t have a lot of strategy and that’s what happens. We’re just trying to make our shots and unfortunately they had a tough time making theirs.”